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Learn How to Apply Caulk

Why Do This?

Caulk may seem like something only professional contractors deal with, but it’s actually inexpensive and extremely simple to use. By sealing areas around your house such as the attic, basement, windows and exterior siding, you can save as much as 30 percent on your utility bill. Best of all, a tube of caulk only costs about $4 at your local hardware store. Here’s how to use it:

Difficulty:
Time: 15 minutes

What You'll Need

  • putty knife or scraper
  • tube of caulk
  • caulk gun
  • plastic spoon or popsicle stick

How To:

  1. 1

    Take a quick walk through your house, checking for places that need a caulk refresh. You're looking for discolored, cracked or otherwise deteriorating caulk. Two important areas to check are your basement and the area around your windows. Both of these spots can leak a lot of heat, especially during the colder months of the year.

  2. 2

    Remove any old or damaged caulk with your putty knife or scraper.

  3. 3

    Load the tube into your caulking gun using the instructions on the gun package. Once it’s properly loaded, cut off the tip of the caulk tube.

  4. 4

    Apply the caulk at a measured pace along the cracks in your window's seal, pushing the caulking tub into the crack. Be smooth and use consistent, light pressure. You want your caulk to be applied in one continuous line.

  5. 5

    Smooth your caulk with a plastic spoon, drinking straw, popsicle stick or even your fingers. Tip: Keep the spoon, drinking straw or popsicle stick wet to keep the caulk from tearing.

  6. 6

    Let the caulk dry completely before you cover it with anything (such as insulation).

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